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It feels unsafe and borderline reckless to ride in actual traffic where there is no s

Old 08-08-22, 11:23 AM
  #26  
hankj
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
It's just interesting to see that, statistically, you're rolling unluckier dice when riding in a city with intersections and driveways, or even by yourself for that matter (of course, you're less likely to die from a right-hook or dooring than a full speed rear end, but the latter is far less common)
Yeah it's the die thing. I've been hit probably 5 or 6 times in the city. I've lived in cities mostly for 40 year and cycle in them all the time. In the city I can minimize the potential of death or life changing injury through my choices and behaviors. I ride in the safest corridors and am not remotely above riding on the sidewalk if I decide to go somewhere sketchy. But yeah, if you ride in the city year in year, out your almost certainly going to collide with a car now and again. Last time was a month ago, mail truck turned right in front of me and ran me into a parked car's mirror. But not bad.

Angeles Crest highway though. I rode that road all the time when I live in Pasadena and L.A. Hate it. Yes fewer cars, but so much more potential to die or be in a wheelchair if you do catch the wrong driver. In fact everyone I know directly or through friends who's been seriously f-ed up riding a bike has either got it mountain biking (the winner by a lot) or on a narrower highway.

I do take your point that it's all dangerous to some degree. People die in the city in Seattle on bikes, nearly all of them not experienced cyclists making a bad choice at the wrong time. The serious highway accidents I know and hear about though are often experienced cyclist who nevertheless got clipped by an incompetent, f-up, or a psycho on a narrow shoulder road. Maybe you are right that it's an illusion but in town I feel like I have some control, on a narrow highway every roaring behind me might be the grim reaper
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Old 08-08-22, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by hankj View Post
Yeah it's the die thing. I've been hit probably 5 or 6 times in the city. I've lived in cities mostly for 40 year and cycle in them all the time. In the city I can minimize the potential of death or life changing injury through my choices and behaviors. I ride in the safest corridors and am not remotely above riding on the sidewalk if I decide to go somewhere sketchy. But yeah, if you ride in the city year in year, out your almost certainly going to collide with a car now and again. Last time was a month ago, mail truck turned right in front of me and ran me into a parked car's mirror. But not bad.

Angeles Crest highway though. I rode that road all the time when I live in Pasadena and L.A. Hate it. Yes fewer cars, but so much more potential to die or be in a wheelchair if you do catch the wrong driver. In fact everyone I know directly or through friends who's been seriously f-ed up riding a bike has either got it mountain biking (the winner by a lot) or on a narrower highway.

I do take your point that it's all dangerous to some degree. People die in the city in Seattle on bikes, nearly all of them not experienced cyclists making a bad choice at the wrong time. The serious highway accidents I know and hear about though are often experienced cyclist who nevertheless got clipped by an incompetent, f-up, or a psycho on a narrow shoulder road. Maybe you are right that it's an illusion but in town I feel like I have some control, on a narrow highway every roaring behind me might be the grim reaper
​​
Yeah I get it, and you're right that much of it is beyond the cyclist's control.
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Old 08-08-22, 11:47 AM
  #28  
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Whenever I hear someone say that they "feel" safer riding salmon, I ask them how many collisions they have had.

The answer is invariably non-zero.

Ride where drivers are looking, be predictable, & command their attention.
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My lights are obscenely bright because drivers are dim.

I shouldn't have to "make myself more visible;" Drivers should just stop running people over.
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Old 08-08-22, 12:10 PM
  #29  
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For the original topic title, that'd be a NO as your place in the lane has to do with the white line anyway. Left of the white line so cars don't "cheat the pass" and hit you. So the shoulder is kind of arbitrary.

As for city riding, I think that's a big "it depends". It depends on the density of the area, average speeds, sight lines. I ride in the older richer neighborhoods of the city which means wider older roads and more homes with driveways and garages meant to house cars instead of street parking. Then the speed limit is slow enough also there's zero excuse not to see a rider or avoid them. Traffic volume is lower than middle class dense suburban neighborhoods.

Tradeoff is nobody wants to ride with you because it's hilly AF and everyone loves that over 20mph avg pace. Not a 3.5w/kg tough ride netting slower than 20mph.
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Old 08-08-22, 12:28 PM
  #30  
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What difference does riding on a shoulder make? Does a 4" stripe of white paint provide an impenetrable barrier or something?

Seems like the two worst accidents I've read about this year involved (1) a driver running a paceline down on the shoulder, and (2) a drunk driver crossing not just white paint, but yellow paint, and running down a group of cyclists on the opposite side of the road.
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Old 08-08-22, 01:20 PM
  #31  
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This discussion of shoulders reminds me of umpteen discussions of MUPs. It invariably comes down to people picturing very different things--I ride a MUP where I can hit 25 mph on a couple of stretches in the flat without having to worry about hitting anyone or anything, others only see MUPs full of dogs and kids. I ride a 55 mph road that has nicely paved 8 feet wide shoulders for approximately 13 miles straight. Other shoulders are about a foot of crumbling asphalt that are completely useless.
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Old 08-08-22, 01:23 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I’m not sure I follow what you’re asking about, so I’ll retiterate that if you take any premise of the OP, e.g. it’s reckless to ride on roads without shoulders, or any point the OP made, e.g. that cyclists are obstacles on the road, I simply disagree and think the entire perspective is wrong-headed. Further, with the irony that the OP finds it better to “salmon,” i.e. ride against the flow of traffic, in violation of road use laws in many, if not all states, underscores the OP’s wrong-headedness.

If maybe you’re asking me whether some roads are better to ride on than others because of traffic volume and road design, well yes, of course that’s true. As for drivers’ “good will,” I don’t think that’s at all to do with anything; is it good will that a driver doesn’t run down a pedestrian? It’s decency and sanity in my mind, and yeah, society works because we have some of both, which also give rise to laws and the general desire to abide by them.

In any case, I certainly don’t feel the rule of the double-yellow is any more inviolate than my right to cycle on the road, so yeah, sometimes both drivers and cyclist need to make concessions. That’s just how life works anyway, irrespective of whether a bicycle is involved.
Yeah, OK, Thanks for the clarification...
I guess I'm still a little 'fogged' from yesterday's ride from Hell... LOL!
ALSO, I totally didn't get the 'Salmon' idea right - had never heard that in all my years (or just old age forgetfulness). I was thinking of what it's like riding on the gravel side of a road with road tires... LOL!
Wrong way riding - absolute D-bag move - We get many of them in our bike lanes, 'salmoning', When I come up on one, I make sure they take the 'outside' - the headon vehicle side. I generally get no challengers cause I think my front profile is pretty much like a Pitbull on wheels... LOL!
Ride On
Yuri
EDIT: that is... The Ride TO and From Hell ! it was longer than expected... somehow I imagine hell as a 120 mi ride, on old concrete roads, 94 deg, 90 % Hum,
and no Dairy Queen/Bakery/local coffee hangout at the turn-around/top of loop...

Last edited by cyclezen; 08-08-22 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 08-08-22, 02:15 PM
  #33  
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This topic has been around for decades and there is no single answer. But there is nothing wrong with taking a lane especially if it is the safer option.

Everything depends on the environment, traffic, time of day, and most importantly what each rider is comfortable with.

Where I live there are bike lanes everywhere and they are well used. But there are also some canyon roads where you have to take a lane, there is no other option. Likewise there are some canyon roads with excellent shoulders and I have never seen a rider take a lane; and they are well ridden:

I do believe that the rise of gravel bikes and rail trails is a pretty clear indicator that riding in traffic is not a benefit. I exclusively rode mtb’s for a while after many years on the road and it was such a revelation.

John
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Old 08-08-22, 02:16 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I don't know of any down here that do ride in the shoulder. Nor does Wisconsin seem to condone riding in shoulders except for "higher speed" roads which to me will be busy US highways and maybe some state highways.

I disagree with their view that one should ride on the right of the road if they are talking extreme right. Most lanes won't allow the motorist to clear the cyclist by 3 feet required by many places and safely remain entirely in the same lane. So since the passing motorist will need part of the other lane to pass, it makes no sense to require the cyclist to ride on the extreme right of the lane.

All that will do is encourage passing motorist to squeeze by and violate the 3 feet with oncoming traffic in the other lane.
Where I live we really don't have any MUPs or bike lanes of great length...About 3 miles worth at best. So riding the state highways and county roads is where it's at if you want to do any long distance riding. And riding on the shoulder is the safest option for both motorist and biker.
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Old 08-08-22, 02:17 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
What difference does riding on a shoulder make? Does a 4" stripe of white paint provide an impenetrable barrier or something?

Seems like the two worst accidents I've read about this year involved (1) a driver running a paceline down on the shoulder, and (2) a drunk driver crossing not just white paint, but yellow paint, and running down a group of cyclists on the opposite side of the road.
Prior research has shown that paved shoulders tend to result in fewer erratic motor vehicle driver maneuvers, more predictable bicyclist riding behavior and enhanced comfort levels for both motorists and bicyclists.

Bicycle Safety Guide and Countermeasure Selection System

bike lanes and paved shoulders are often the safest place to ride, especially where motor vehicle speeds exceed 45 MPH or heavy traffic is present

https://www.bikemn.org/mn-bicycling-...s-of-the-road/

Last edited by prj71; 08-08-22 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 08-08-22, 02:29 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Where I live we really don't have any MUPs or bike lanes of great length...About 3 miles worth at best. So riding the state highways and county roads is where it's at if you want to do any long distance riding. And riding on the shoulder is the safest option for both motorist and biker.
I do understand that it's different in different places. We aren't talking about MUPs or bike lanes so I'm not sure where that fits in the conversation.

I feel blessed to have a 11 mile long MUP that only has three places it crosses a busy intersection. But I also have lots of decent roads too. Most 2 lane with no shoulder. And I ride on them with few issues from anyone except for one SUV with a Pro Life affinity license plate that seems to like to pass me in blind curves and gets closer than 3 feet. I suppose I'll have to report her soon.

Otherwise traffic behind me is little issue. Most are patient, a few show a little of their annoyance. But even the dump trucks going back and forth to the gravel pit seem to be very patient when behind me and they pass with the utmost care.
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Old 08-08-22, 02:38 PM
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prj71

In the last link you provided it's interesting that all the illustrations of a single cyclist show them in the center of their lane!

https://www.bikemn.org/mn-bicycling-...s-of-the-road/
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Old 08-08-22, 02:43 PM
  #38  
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Around here where we don't have bike lanes we have many "bikes can use the full lane" signs so cars can smd.
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Old 08-08-22, 02:59 PM
  #39  
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Salmoning tends to be an uphill/upstream battle. One can get exhausted doing that.
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Old 08-08-22, 03:14 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Prior research has shown that paved shoulders tend to result in fewer erratic motor vehicle driver maneuvers, more predictable bicyclist riding behavior and enhanced comfort levels for both motorists and bicyclists.

https://www.bikemn.org/mn-bicycling-...s-of-the-road/
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
prj71

In the last link you provided it's interesting that all the illustrations of a single cyclist show them in the center of their lane!
More than that, it shows the dangers of bike lanes for both dooring and exiting to make a turn.

the other link doesn’t seem to work for me, so I’m curious which studies claim bike lanes and shoulders are safer.
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Old 08-08-22, 03:25 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
More than that, it shows the dangers of bike lanes for both dooring and exiting to make a turn.

the other link doesn’t seem to work for me, so I’m curious which studies claim bike lanes and shoulders are safer.
It all depends on the area. A lot of cities wanted to be bike friendly so they slapped a lane in between parked cars and moving traffic. Probably the worst of all worlds. Motorists expect cyclists to stay in their lane but cyclists would have been a lot safer to just have a wide traffic lane and shared it with cars.

Newer suburbs that were designed with bike lanes and off street parking is a different environment.

John
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Old 08-08-22, 03:27 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
prj71

In the last link you provided it's interesting that all the illustrations of a single cyclist show them in the center of their lane!

https://www.bikemn.org/mn-bicycling-...s-of-the-road/
Concur, though the "shoulders are safer" crowd does get one sentence of text.

Of course, that does assume a "shoulder" is 3-8' wide and well-paved. Most of the shoulders near me are 6-12" wide, and their apparent purpose is to let grass grow there and crumble the pavement without damaging the traffic lanes.
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Old 08-08-22, 03:56 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Concur, though the "shoulders are safer" crowd does get one sentence of text.

Of course, that does assume a "shoulder" is 3-8' wide and well-paved. Most of the shoulders near me are 6-12" wide, and their apparent purpose is to let grass grow there and crumble the pavement without damaging the traffic lanes.
When they built the Nissan plant a little way north of me, they put in a nice stretch of four lane divided highway they call Nissan Parkway. It has a designated bike lane on the right, but it's always full of gravel and litter. I've not seen any cyclist using the bike lane which is pretty much a really wide shoulder. Like me they stay in the traffic lane. Especially on group rides.

And since it's a four lane divided highway then it's no issue for the cars and other motor vehicles to move to the left lane. And they do. Unless of course I'm in it because I'm about to make a left turn.
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Old 08-08-22, 05:04 PM
  #44  
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Moved from General to A&S.
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Old 08-08-22, 05:09 PM
  #45  
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and love is crazy
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Old 08-08-22, 05:29 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I do understand that it's different in different places. We aren't talking about MUPs or bike lanes so I'm not sure where that fits in the conversation.
Around here the shoulders on the main roads that I ride have always been there. In recent years the practice has been that when they repave the intersections they paint bike lane symbols on the shoulders. So has it now become a bike lane for the entire length of the road? I suspect they are now counted as "bike lane miles" by the state and county to make the stats look better. But it's the same strip of pavement one way or the other.

Most of my riding is on two lane low traffic country roads but I'll ride the higher volume roads for a mile or two on some loops. The shoulders are well paved and clean and make fine bike lanes.
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Old 08-08-22, 05:37 PM
  #47  
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Cyclists are humans, not salmon don't ride like an idiot and you will be fine. Nobody is looking for a cyclist going the wrong way and it is way more dangerous for so many reasons!
When I am riding my bike and you are coming at me going the wrong way on a clearly marked bike lane with arrows pointing in the direction I am going you are putting my life at risk and your own because you will have to move out into traffic. It is bad enough having delivery trucks and idiot ride share drivers parking in them now I have to dodge people coming at me the wrong way.

Please ride responsibly and follow the arrows or sharrows and generally follow traffic laws so we can all be safe out there.
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Old 08-08-22, 05:41 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post

It feels unsafe and borderline reckless to ride in actual traffic where there is no shoulder. For those who ride on roads with no shoulder, how do you deal with the fact that when you're riding with traffic, cars are constantly having to move half way out of the lane you're occupying? If there is not much traffic, this is not a big deal for the car, as there is another entire lane to use for passing the bike. But, during thicker traffic times, where cars are in both lanes, the bike is creating an obstacle on the road and potentially causing car accidents, particularly if there are cars in both lanes and one sideswipes another while having to avoid the bike by swerving into the left lane. Not only is this totally unnerving for the rider, but it creates a real danger for cars. This also applies to one lane roads, where the car must cross over double yellow lines to avoid the bike, thereby risking a fatal head on collision. This is an ethical line I simply can not cross.

Best practices for riding with traffic when there is no shoulder?
There are few roads with shoulders where I live, somewhat out in the county. So, I pick roads with few to no cars and monitor every single car that might kill me.

I was on an organized ride recently in other states on roads that are the best offered in that area and franky, it was a stressful monitoring cars approaching from the rear on broken pavement, even in the areas with a generous 12-24 inches to the right of the fog line. A very careful cycling buddy was hit from behind and seriously injured. Roads that many feel comfortable on, I won't ride. If I need to take a lane, I take it but rarely need to. It is usually on high speed descents and I do not release the lane until I am damned ready and safe. That is how I deal with it.
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Old 08-08-22, 05:51 PM
  #49  
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OP, you're overthinking it IMO. Just ride.
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Old 08-08-22, 06:14 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
As of now, if there is no shoulder on either side, I simply do not ride on those roads without an obvious shoulder lane. I currently refuse to ride on roads without a shoulder on at least one side. (or at least grass or sidewalk, where I can walk the bike until shoulder is available on one side) Also, I feel its safer to salmon in a shoulder lane, than to ride with traffic in the actual traffic lane. Shoulder equals safety where you're not an obstacle impediment to cars.

It feels unsafe and borderline reckless to ride in actual traffic where there is no shoulder. For those who ride on roads with no shoulder, how do you deal with the fact that when you're riding with traffic, cars are constantly having to move half way out of the lane you're occupying? If there is not much traffic, this is not a big deal for the car, as there is another entire lane to use for passing the bike. But, during thicker traffic times, where cars are in both lanes, the bike is creating an obstacle on the road and potentially causing car accidents, particularly if there are cars in both lanes and one sideswipes another while having to avoid the bike by swerving into the left lane. Not only is this totally unnerving for the rider, but it creates a real danger for cars. This also applies to one lane roads, where the car must cross over double yellow lines to avoid the bike, thereby risking a fatal head on collision. This is an ethical line I simply can not cross.

Best practices for riding with traffic when there is no shoulder?
A good piece of advice would be grab a notepad, pencil, beach chair, water and perhaps some snacks. Look up on Strava heat maps or RWGPS popularity map a road which has plenty of traffic, no shoulder and frequently used by cyclists (google street view will come in handy). Take a bus to this location and set up your chair and note how your fellow cyclists are handling the interaction with cars over a few hours. Type up the notes taken and place on your refrigerator to review prior to each ride. Share your research with the Bike Forum Community, it would be a great way of giving back to a group which has been so generous to you. Problem solved, everyone wins!
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